Notre Dame, UNLV look to rebound after home losses
UNLV (4-3) at Notre Dame (3-3), Saturday, 2:30 p.m. ET (Peacock)
Line: Notre Dame by 27 ½, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Both teams hope to rebound from last week’s home losses. Stanford pitched a first-half shutout and wound up holding on for a 16-14 victory in South Bend, Indiana — the Cardinal’s first win over an FBS foe in more than a year. The Fighting Irish are 1-2 at home this season and must win their final three games at Notre Dame Stadium to post a winning record in coach Marcus Freeman’s first season. UNLV started 4-1 but now has lost back-to-back games, including last week’s 42-7 rout against Air Force. An upset win over the Irish would be a monumental milestone for the Rebels.
Notre Dame QB quarterback Drew Pyne vs. UNLV defense. Pyne struggled against Stanford, completing just 13 of 27 passes for 151 yards and one TD. He entered the game completing 72.5% of his throws and the Irish need him to get back on track this week. UNLV’s defense has allowed 213.6 yards passing per game. If Pyne can’t rebound, the Rebels can stack the line of scrimmage and take away the run, making it even more difficult for Notre Dame.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
UNLV: LB Austin Ajiake is a cog for the Rebels. He leads UNLV with 72 tackles including 20 in last week’s loss to Air Force. His 11.4 tackles per game rank fourth in the FBS. Ajiake also has two sacks and two interceptions this season.
Notre Dame: RB Audric Estime. He leads the team in rushing by a wide margin with 418 yards and five TDs. He also has two fumbles, one of which proved costly against Stanford.
FACTS & FIGURES
Notre Dame is 31-6 all-time against Mountain West Conference teams. … UNLV is tied for 3rd in the country with 11 interceptions. … The Irish have an FBS-low two takeaways this season. ... The Rebels have already doubled their victory total from the past two seasons combined.
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